The definition of fascism is complex and it seems that we have over simplified the meaning so as to insult or decry our political opponents. We know Hitler and his ilk were fascist of the worst kind and during the Bush era simply putting a Hitler mustache on George W. would rile the liberals in a frenzy of hatred and anger, and yet BO is getting his fair share of being called a fascist. So it seems that we need to educate ourselves on history once again and the terms and meanings behind it all. You can do that here if you like. This article is not about teaching you about fascism, but analyzing the test made over 50 years ago and how it relates to the Christian mind. You can take it yourself if you’d like.
Previously, I wrote about another kind of survey that determined how Conservative or Liberal you are, and how completely stupid it was in its conclusions. This one, however is a bit more accurate and a slightly bit disturbing in its assumptions. As a Christian, I see where these questions are leading and can’t but help to see its bent toward getting ignorant people to answer in such a way as to find out they are fascists. On the opposite side of fascist, in this test, is liberal, which I find offensive in itself because both political systems can get to a fascist ideal. One of the main ideas of fascism I see is the shutting down of the voice of your political opponent, be it through media, prisons, or violence. I see today that it is only the liberals in America that don’t want to allow the conservative, whether it be religious or political, to have their voice be heard.
The answers to all the questions are as follows: 1 Disagree Strongly, 2 Disagree Mostly, 3 Disagree Somewhat, 4 Agree Somewhat, 5 Agree Mostly, 6 Agree Strongly. So, we’ll look at these questions individually and see where they fall short.
There is also a “Variable” part of the test that will be revealed within each question:
- Conventionalism: Rigid adherence to conventional, middle-class values.
- Authoritarian Submission: Submissive, uncritical attitude toward idealized moral authorities of the ingroup.
- Authoritarian Aggression: Tendency to be on the lookout for, and to condemn, reject, and punish people who violate conventional values.
- Anti-intraception: Opposition to the subjective, the imaginative, the tender-minded.
- Superstition and Stereotypy: The belief in mystical determinants of the individual’s fate; the disposition to think in rigid categories.
- Power and “Toughness”: Preoccupation with the dominance-submission, strong-weak, leader-follower dimension; identification with power figures; overemphasis upon the conventionalized attributes of the ego; exaggerated assertion of strength and toughness.
- Destructiveness and Cynicism: Generalized hostility, vilification of the human.
- Projectivity: The disposition to believe that wild and dangerous things go on in the world; the projection outwards of unconscious emotional impulses.
- Sex: Exaggerated concern with sexual “goings-on.”
Onto the survey:
1. Obedience and respect for authority are the most important virtues children should learn.
Although obedience and respect for authority are important, I could think of some more important virtues: curiosity, morality, expression to some extent, determination, cooperation. I chose Disagree Somewhat. This has a variable of 1 and 2
2. A person who has bad manners, habits, and breeding can hardly expect to get along with decent people.
For me this question comes down to the opinionated term of “decent people”. Who is determining what is decent? I suppose if you are in the upper to mid class person, you look down your nose at “indecent” people, but being a Christian I would hope that you see the value in all persons and that hope is more valuable than decency. I Disagreed Mostly. Variables: 1 and 3
3. If people would talk less and work more, everybody would be better off.
In many instances talking allows people to work better. Communication is a very valuable commodity in the workplace. But, I see where this is leading and Somewhat Agree because talk could be work and work adds purpose and value to society. Variable: 1, 3 and 4
4. The business man and the manufacturer are much more important to society than the artist and the professor.
Now we start to get in to seeing the difference in a society and its culture. After watching Monuments Men, I am confirmed of the value art has in a culture. (Great show by the way.) Creativity, whether in business or the arts, should be a fine marriage of cultural value. Fascists see no value in art, in the beauty of itself, but only in the way it can propagate its agenda. Although government funding of either is a very fine balance. People can definitely see the goodness of a manufacturing plant bettering society, even though they disagree fundamentally, (look at today’s protester: hating the business but loving the results and benefits). Art holds more opinion in its value. Can a picture of Mary the mother of Jesus made out of excrement, be called art? Should the government fund this? Difficult questions, but I Disagreed Mostly. Variable: 1 and 4
5. Science has its place, but there are many important things that can never be understood by the human mind.
Variable: 2 and 5. So this question has to do with authority? I suppose if a scientist says it, it is to be held as a permanent, unmoving truth? I’m not exactly sure where the fascist would stand here, but I’m thinking getting away from any type of faith. That the only value is observable? I Agree Mostly only because I see the value of science in society, but the supernatural holds great purpose in life, in morality, in love and sacrifice.
6. Every person should have complete faith in some supernatural power whose decisions he obeys without question.
Variable: 2 and 5 again. Does this point out your fascism in submission? Or your bent away from fascism in its value of only what can be seen or felt. I think perhaps “without question” is the crux of the question. Agreeing with this is fascist. I Disagreed Somewhat exactly because of not questioning. I am raising my children to question what they believe, but we should have some faith that this is not all there is to life; there is greater meaning and purpose than eating, sleeping, laughing and dying.
7. Young people sometimes get rebellious ideas, but as they grow up they ought to get over them and settle down.
It is only through rebellious ideas that things change as they sometimes must do, not always for the better, but we must realize that rebellion is good for a society that has no diversity. Sameness is detrimental to society, and to be honest, just plain boring. It is true that most rebellion or revolution starts with the young seeing an injustice, and it may be traditional for those in power to try to sway them by assimilating them to society by marriage, family, job, and it is determinant for them to hold to their rebellion or not, whether it is still as valuable or worthy of their young rebellion in the first place. If the rebellion is truly necessary, we must never grow out of it. I Disagree Mostly. Variable: 2.
8. What this country needs most, more than laws and political programs, is a few courageous, tireless, devoted leaders in whom the people can put their faith.
Okay, this question comes down to “put their faith”. I completely agree that we need leaders who are completely devoted to their ideals and will not be swayed by personal gain, BUT we must never allow a cult of personality to take the place of faith. That is to completely believe in them no matter what their character may reveal, which in any human, will fail you. Agree Somewhat. Variable: 2 and 6.
9. No sane, normal, decent person could ever think of hurting a close friend or relative.
What does “hurting” mean? Like risk hurting their feelings for the betterment of themselves? Or turn them in for adverse thought to the authorities? Dark. Disagree Somewhat. Variable: 2
10. Nobody ever learned anything really important except through suffering.
Hmm… This question too, has a dark, hidden meaning. Do we make people suffer so that they will, or must learn? We are told this in a roundabout way in the Bible, that suffering or trials help us to grow, and I completely agree. But, this is not what this means, perhaps? Agree Somewhat. Variable: 2.
11. What the youth needs most is strict discipline, rugged determination, and the will to work and fight for family and country.
Eliminate “strict,” and change “family and country” to “the betterment of society and culture.” But then who decides what is the “betterment” so again, this is difficult, as all political opinions should be. Disagree Mostly. Variable 3 and 6.
12. An insult to our honor should always be punished.
“Always”? “Always”? Really? And for just and insult? No. Strongly Disagree. Variable: 3 and 6.
13. Sex crimes, such as rape and attacks on children, deserve more than mere imprisonment; such criminals ought to be publicly whipped, or worse.
Yes, I agree that these crimes stir up my blood more than most, even now my teeth are grinding at such an affront to goodness and purity that should be held up in society and held dearly. I think and re-think my answer on this and Mostly Agree, with reservations because of the fact that where does it stop. It is deviant behavior, but who decides what is deviant but a strong moral authority, and within the theocracy God established, there was public punishment, not necessarily beatings, but everyone knew of the punishment. So, thinking that humans within the government decides these things? No, I will Agree Somewhat. Variable: 3 and 9.
14. There is hardly anything lower than a person who does not feel a great love, gratitude, and respect for his parents.
Nope! There are things way worse than someone who does not feel these things. Strongly Disagree. Variable: 3
15. Most of our social problems would be solved if we could somehow get rid of the immoral, crooked, and feebleminded people.
Erm… “feebleminded”? Yes, society would be better if everyone believed the same and we were all mostly equal, but there has to be some who decides that there are some who are more equal than others. And that is what disturbs me. Disagree Mostly. Variable: 3
16, Homosexuals are hardly better than criminals and ought to be severely punished.
Again, Nope! There is so much wrong with this statement, but it was thought of in a different culture, 50 years ago. But, I am afraid that many people who call themselves Christians would agree with this. They do sin, as I do sin, and accepting Christ gives us freedom, even if that freedom is living in a manner against the Word, it should eventually turn us, but we should never be forcefully compelled and/or treated as criminals. Strongly Disagree. It is with love that the world is changed. Ugh, too much more to say, but this is a summary. Variable: 3 and 9.
17. When a person has a problem or worry, it is best for him not to think about it, but to keep busy with more cheerful things.
Replace “with more cheerful things” with “working” and I would strongly agree. Hopefully staying busy helps us to get over our worry. Does this statement imply a blind following? Yes, I believe it does. Somewhat Agree though. Variable: 4.
18. Nowadays more and more people are prying into matters that should remain personal and private.
This is a statement that should change with the times. “Prying” should be “involving.” This is true and false at the same time because of the Facebook culture we have created. Kind of lame question, but I feel compelled to Agree Somewhat because no one is really involving themselves in other peoples lives as they should sometimes. Variable: 4 and 8.
19. Some people are born with an urge to jump from high places.
What? It seems that the questions to this point leads to a fascist belief if you agree. So how does this tie with that? Are we to just allow those TO jump if they are just born with it? I think that is the implication here. So, I suppose I Disagree Somewhat if that is the case. Variable: 5
20. People can be divided into two distinct classes: the weak and the strong.
Okay, this sounds like the saying that has come about, with sometimes comedic effect, “There are two kinds of people in this world…” This is followed up with something like, Trekkers and non-Trekkers or those who like Thin Mints and those who like Samoas. Duh, there is weak people and there is strong, but in many different categories and characteristics. So I think this is wanting to make us place labels on those who are weak, so that they can be pointed out to those in authority. But, I Agree Somewhat anyway. Variable: 5 and 6.
21. Some day it will probably be shown that astrology can explain a lot of things.
Oh for crying in the mud. Disagree Strongly. Variable: 5 and 6
22. Wars and social troubles may someday be ended by an earthquake or flood that will destroy the whole world.
Wow, that escalated quickly! Um, sure… but what does that have to do with fascism? Is it more of a metaphorical destruction? Is it an implication of faith? I’m not sure of anything with this question… Agree Somewhat? Variable: 5 and 8
23. No weakness or difficulty can hold us back if we have enough will power.
Strongly Agree… but then again. Dark, hidden meanings. Variable: 6
24. It is best to use some prewar authorities in Germany to keep order and prevent chaos. [You’ll have to pretend it is 1946 when you answer this one.]
I can’t pretend this. Okay, I’ll try. Sure, I’ll Agree Somewhat. Variable: 6
25. Most people don’t realize how much our lives are controlled by plots hatched in secret places.
Now were getting down to the meat of darkness and hidden meanings. I would agree with this in my conspiratorial mind. But, God is ultimately in control, so… Disagree Somewhat? Yeah, that sounds right. 6 and 8.
26. Human nature being what it is, there will always be war and conflict.
Okay, yes this is biblical. Completely Agree. The thing we need though is to understand each other better and on an individual level, if you are open, we can minimize conflict. But on a global basis, totally. So, Agree Mostly. Variable: 6
27. Familiarity breeds contempt.
Living in Utah for 40 years I would have said, yes. But, I would change this to “breeds a lack of challenge and therefore growth.” But, I still Agree Mostly. Variable: 6
28. Nowadays when so many different kinds of people move around and mix together so much, a person has to protect himself especially carefully against catching an infection or disease from them.
Oof! That was a sock to the gut… I can hardly breathe from the force of this blow… Ouch, really? I guess for the most part, people might believe in the truth of this statement. Look at historically the diseases natives received from colonists. Sometimes it makes us stronger, sometimes it makes us weaker. But the sentiment behind the question is kind of distasteful. Disagree Mostly. Variable: 7
29. The wild sex life of the old Greeks and Romans was tame compared to some of the goings-on in this country, even in places where people might least expect it.
There is nothing new under the sun. People will sink down to the lowest of their society for their pure enjoyment and not look back or care about it at all. N/A is not an option so I guess I will Agree Somewhat with the advent of YouTube. Variable: 8 and 9
30. The true American way of life is disappearing so fast that force may be necessary to preserve it.
Dark and Hidden meanings. The American way of life is an incredible moment in history, but that is not my God nor is it my faith. We have a responsibility in this world, but if things are to change… they must, and God saw it through the whole way. Disagree Somewhat. Variable: 6.
I must admit, I took this test before and got a 2.93333, which was labeled a “Liberal Airhead”. This time as I looked at every question, I have a 3.2, and it tells me, “You are disciplined but tolerant; a true American.” I don’t know if these labels were used 50+ years ago, but Liberal Airhead might seem a bit insulting, not to mention incorrect in this time and age.
As for the variables, look at the ones you scored as Agree Mostly or Strongly. I didn’t agree with a lot of this survey, but some of the Mostly or Strongly led to the variables of 2, 5 and three times, 6. I have a slight bent toward Authoritarian Submission: Submissive, uncritical attitude toward idealized moral authorities of the ingroup, and Superstition and Stereotypy: The belief in mystical determinants of the individual’s fate; the disposition to think in rigid categories. I most strongly relate to this variable: Destructiveness and Cynicism: Generalized hostility, vilification of the human, which is correct I believe.
In general this survey is more complex than the other one I analyzed yet slightly dated. It seems that in the questions, they believe that fascist people might be more from the upper class, and disdains mixing of cultures and desire a violent silence of any opposition/rebellion. Hmm… something to think about as we see our government at work today.
I came across this article the other day. If you take this “quiz” you may find yourself surprised at where you fall in the conservative/liberal scale: because, this is the stupidest survey. Here are the questions with the answers being: StronglyDisagree, ModeratelyDisagree, SlightlyDisagree, SlightlyAgree, ModeratelyAgree, StronglyAgree, unless otherwise noted.
- I prefer cats to dogs.
- I prefer watching documentaries to action/adventure movies.
- Respect for authority is something all children need to learn.
- I keep my desk and other workspaces very neat and organized.
- I believe that self-expression is more important than self-control.
- If I heard that a new restaurant in my neighborhood blended the cuisines of two very different cultures, that would make me want to try it.
- My government should treat lives of its citizens as being much more valuable than lives in other countries.
- If I were married or in a serious dating relationship, I would think it is perfectly OK for my partner to look at erotic or pornographic pictures or videos, by himself/herself.
- The Internet browser I most often use is (Chrome, Firefox, InternetExplorer, Safari, Other/ Don’t know)
- I wish the world did not have nations or borders and we were all part of one big group.
- If I were to visit New York City, I would rather go to Times Square than the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- I am proud of my country’s history.
My results were: You’re 37% conservative, 63% liberal. I don’t know specifically how it reached these numbers, but I suppose some questions were more weighted than others and it depended on your slight or strong feelings on the matter.
Here are the reasons it put me in the liberal side of things:
- You prefer documentaries over action movies
- You like fusion cuisine
- You use a modern browser
- You wish there were no countries
- You prefer the Met to Times Square
And here are the conservative reasons:
- You like dogs more than cats
- You think kids should respect authority
- You like a neat desk
- You think self-control trumps self-expression
- You think the government should treat the lives of its citizens as much more valuable than those of other countries
- You don’t think your partner should be looking at porn alone
- You’re proud of your country’s history
I am going to address my liberal qualities first:
I slightly agreed that I would prefer watching documentaries than action movies, because I suppose I like to learn about nature, science and some social/cultural things than shutting off my mind. Now I’m assuming since almost all documentaries are made from a liberal point of view that they would think liberals prefer this, and that is true, especially lately with nature shows. It always ends up that man is destroying everything beautiful and natural. Making action movie the conservative option is just ridiculous. They could have just said fictional film. But, I suppose conservatives are just knuckle dragging idiots who don’t like learning or being open-minded. (By the way, I hate the phrase, “be more open-minded”. Like the person who is closed-minded haven’t considered other options.)
I moderately agreed that I would try fusion cuisine, and that is a liberal quality. Of course conservatives hate trying new things, especially when it comes to food. Living where I am right now, in a desert of good eating, has made me truly appreciate good food and if a fusion restaurant had a great reputation and reviews for good food, as well as being affordable, obviously I would try it. I also assume “fusion” restaurants to be more on the expensive side, which of course liberals like to spend more at restaurants than a conservative.
I am using Chrome right now, so of course that makes me more liberal… What!? I just don’t get this one, so no real commentary.
I strongly agreed that I wish there were no countries. If we got right down to the heart of this question, don’t we all wish we could get along? Now if they stated, “I see a possibility of all the countries of the world becoming one in the future,” I would have strongly disagreed, and that would have made me more of a conservative, I assume. It seems this statement is designed to make the liberals feel good about the fact that they are the only ones who want world peace, and that conservatives thrive on war. There is a different between wanting world peace and knowing there is no chance of it ever occurring! I rarely comment on these types of things, but I did here, and of course I cracked myself up. Here is what I said: “Wow, I didn’t know liking documentaries, enjoying fusion cuisine, and desiring world peace were only qualities of a liberal! I’m so glad I know that now, so I can protest those restaurants that have one type of ethnic food as war mongering drool beasts!”
My final liberal quality was based on whether I wanted to visit Times Square or the Metropolitan Museum of Art; I said I Strongly Agreed to want to go to the Met. I can’t understand how this separates the liberals and conservatives, but here is what someone commented about this: “Why on earth would Times Square be considered conservative!?! It has a million flashing lights, the naked cowboy, MTV, and a history of being a place where strippers worked?” I probably wouldn’t mind seeing Times Square, but after seeing this guy’s comments I might not want to, and keep my kids away. Obviously, only liberals truly appreciate fine art.
Now for the conservative qualities:
I slightly agreed to liking dogs because they poop outside. I suppose the reason liberals like cats more is the study that people who like cats need to be less controlling. Okay… I kind of see that, maybe. Not!
I strongly agreed that kids should respect authority. So, is it true that liberals teach their kids to be snotty to those more experienced? Or is it the fact that conservatives teach their kids to never question authority. I believe this one is semantics too. The difference between respecting authority or never questioning it, and this one is in the conservatives favor! This should be whether or not kids should question authority. Of course liberals would believe that they are the only ones who teach their children to question what they are told and taught, and conservatives are hard-line, egotistical jerks that should never be questioned.
I slightly agreed to a neat and organized workspace… again, I don’t get it. Liberals are messy and have no need for structure and organization? Hmmmm….. seems fishy to me.
I slightly agreed to self-control over self-expression. I think that self-expression is best expressed when a person has enough sense and control to be able to say it well. The obvious statement is that conservatives are against people expressing themselves, that we should all be non-questioning conformists. I pray that I am raising my kids to question what they are taught and that they can express themselves in any way they can, in legal and modest ways. I believe that liberals might see conservatives as closing down all self-expression because that just leads to chaos, and I agree that there needs to be limits in self-expression. The world, if let alone without laws or morals, would become a confusing, chaotic mess of people expressing themselves in lots of filthy and depraved ways, and self-control is a great way to express one-self. This to me is one of the most controversial points of the whole “quiz”. This is such a complex issue that it should not be simplified to such a statement.
I slightly agreed that a government should be more concerned for its citizens rather than those of other countries. This is a no-brainer to me. I mean, really? Liberals would truly say that their own government should look out for citizens of other countries? I believe that if a country is strong enough, and had enough positive influence in the world, that it should concern itself with those of the world’s citizens as well, but not beyond those of its own. That is why I slightly agreed. Citizen’s safety is/should be of utmost importance to a governments’ concerns, but not other things that liberals believe a government should provide, which makes it confusing, especially in light of recent laws being enacted. To a liberal some of these things become a right that a government should enforce, but they never speak of it being forced on other worldly citizens. Very confusing option here.
I strongly believe your partner should not look at erotic things alone. I’m amazed that this is a question. Sure, maybe liberals are a bit more… liberal with their eroticism and what it has to do with their partners, but does that really separate us? If it does, than thank God. What in the world do liberals think about commitment, purity, faithfulness…? Oh, maybe I’m wrong in thinking that they may hold to a higher view of this. Okay, they can have it. Whatever. Woe to the world and where this question will/is leading us.
I am slightly proud of my country’s history. “What?” you say. Why am I not strongly proud of my country? I am, in the way that we have such freedom, thank God for that. But it is only these freedoms that is leading us back to what some of these questions have referenced: expressions in any way we want! Also, there is a lot to be ashamed of in this world. A friend recommended I read, “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn, and I didn’t finish it because it did look at the corruption of the history of many of those in authority, and it made me sick at how horrible we can be as a human race. But I, as a Christian, understand that more than other people understand. This world is sick and corrupt with sin. I can’t be “proud” of what horrors have been accomplished for freedom, but I am humbled that I have an opportunity to live in such freedom. Thank you God for the opportunities we have here in this country and the freedoms. I pray for those nations who do not. But at the same time, I know your people are thankful for the trials they suffer, and are more the stronger because of it. Thank you for both.
(Author’s note: Many statements in the preceding article are made in a sarcastic way. Please read with care.)
If you have really read any of the things I have written, and done so for a while, you may know that I am more analytic in dealing with the culture from a Christian standpoint then others; that is, I am more immersed in things of this world than what your typical Christian may look like. I don’t talk about it a lot for fear that I may weaken a brother’s view of myself or in God’s dealings with me. But, I am who I am, and by the grace of God I am saved, and I have the freedom to choose what I involve myself in. If God wants me to put something or other away from myself, it would be sinful of me to ignore Him. If it was that God called me to delete the Infected Mushroom songs off my ipod, I would. There are many things in my life that I have had a lifetime habit of, and God has called me away from that, yet I still struggle within me to free myself from such burdens.
It is a conscious choice I have to make every day.
That all being said, I wanted to talk about a book I have recently finished and the connections I see with our self-absorbed culture of today. Which is what I enjoy doing on this site anyway: view my life and/or the culture surrounding it, and it’s impact on who I am now, and it’s possible relationship to Christianity. The book is one typically not read on a regular basis by most Christians. I have a pile of books on my nightstand I intend to get around to, have half-finished, or stays there for reference. These are mostly of the Christian variety. Growing up I read a lot of horror. Generally in the vein of Stephen King and such. I still pick up an occasional King and I am eagerly awaiting the local library to hold my copy of “Doctor Sleep”, the continuation of his thirty-three year old book “The Shining”. I have picked up some of King’s books or many others, only to reject them because I am judging where content or theme is going, and it is not to a place I would rather go.
The seasons of this world affect my preferences of what I read. Autumn is the time when I like to read something a bit more dark. I came across several lists of the “most” scary books, and one came up on several. Being that I never actually read it, I decided to pick it up. The book is, “The Haunting of Hill House”. You may know the story: four people gather at a supposedly haunted house, get frightened by several strange goings-on, culminating in the death of one of them. The focus on the book is a woman named Eleanor. She seems to be a shy, unassertive person who creates a fantasy world in her own mind. My daughter just asked me if I liked it, (she is wondering what I’m doing), and I said, “Mmm… yeah.” The book had its frightening moments, I like a little horror now and then. But, it was the end that shocked me a bit and drew all your attention away from the accounts of the horror the characters experienced. It tells me something about our culture now, the one we built with the advent of the internet, facebook, twitter and the like. In fact, I may be perpetuating this culture in what I am doing now. Back when I had my operation, I wondered about how narcissistic I am in writing so many things about myself. How self-absorbed do you have to be to write all about yourself, and how the world relates to you, and your thoughts, and your feelings, and all this stuff about you, you, you? It is why I haven’t been writing as much lately as I use to. I have to sort it all out in my mind. I am a very introspective guy, you see, much like Eleanor is in this book.
Eleanor’s path of self-absorption, led to her destruction. “Is that where I am headed to?” I ask myself.
There is a scene in the book, the beginning of chapter 6, where Eleanor and Luke are talking outside. All Eleanor can think about is whatever Luke answers to her, is that he is trying to impress her and how he answers reveals his real understanding of who he thinks she is. Whether she is simple and easily impressed, or looking for someone gallant ready to sweep her off her feet, or that she is complex and mystical. With each answer she predicts he will say, she is disgusted and looks down on him for his trite ways he is looking to impress her. It is revealed later that Luke is in with Theodora, perhaps. The book is vague on some points. But, the fact is she is so self-absorbed, she thinks all Luke wants is her, and she is unwilling to concede that he may be worthy. Now, in previous chapters, her flights of fantasy in her head are truly a bit more simple: where she would live, what her house would look like, that sort of thing. Now that she is in situation where she thinks she may be wanted, or needed, a perception I believe she is doing herself, she is making herself more complex, more difficult to be swayed.
Later on in the book, Eleanor is wandering around, listening to three different conversations. With the first conversation overheard, she wants to hear her name be spoken. “Say my name!” she implores in her mind. The people talking say everyone else’s name in the house except hers. She goes on to the next. Again, all other names are said but hers. And again, the same thing. I started to imagine that Eleanor was really a part of the house the whole time. That she put herself in these previous situations, where they responded to her, only in her own mind. When she first got there, she was witty, playful and involved in the group. They all seemed silly. Then Eleanor went off on strange rants about her name and how important it was that they knew her name. The silliness of the group began to dwindle, and Eleanor began to have more inner thoughts as at the beginning.
Names are important. I just got through reading in the Bible the section in Genesis where God asks Jacob, “What is your name?” The last time someone asked him this, he lied, said it was Esau. God knows names are important, valuable even. When He renames people, it takes on a deeper meaning. Their previous name was just a reflection of how God saw them.
When I was younger I had built many fantastical ideas around who I was, where I was, how I affected the world, and who I would become. I had created alter egos to deal with situations I knew I could never deal with. But, God called my name. Yet I still deal with the residual ideas I created in my own head; as you can see in the long introduction trying to convince you that I am not who you may consider me to be. But God knows me. He understands me. I may not fully understand what that means, as I’ve told people the reason I blog is to discover more about what I understand who I am. Isn’t it enough that God understands me? I am reminded of a song we sang in church when I was younger that stuck with me: “To be understood as to understand”. That is a big part of me: understanding who I am.
Eleanor wanted to be known; to be understood. Whether she was a personification of what the house stood for, or if she was a real person and the manifestations of the house were completely her responsibility, she had a desire to be needed; to be understood.
I asked someone today, who asked me to be friends on that one site, why he is on there. He didn’t really have a good answer. He doesn’t do much on the site, but I suppose he feels it mandatory to be on there. There are many different types of facebook users as there are people, but I can group them in three categories: The person who contributes everything, the person who contributes some things, and the person who contributes nothing.
Why are we on there? To be understood? If that is the case, is it the right medium? I’ve written about this all before, and there is nothing new under the sun. What I write has probably been hashed out to death. But, it is something I need to hash out for myself. To understand. I have come to the point on that one site, that I know who I am on there now. It took a lot of soul-searching and struggle, but I finally know. Have for some months now. “What?” you say. “A lot of soul-searching?” you say. Yes. As I’ve said, I am quite introspective, almost to the point of self-destruction. I admire those who never delve too deeply within themselves and can smile confidently meeting someone new, casually carrying on easy conversations of not too important subjects. But I can’t do that. I push myself hard to meet new people. To talk. Maybe, lately it has been a bit easier, because I do understand that I don’t have to understand myself fully, but God does completely. And that is enough… (yes I am working on this too).
I know who I am in Christ. I am His son. Thank God that all who I understand needs to understand me is Him, and I will strive to serve Him all my days.
“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:6-7
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
I came across this article the other day. Below is one of the pictures from the story. Yes, there is gender inequality in our world, even in this homogeneous culture in these United States. It seems unfair that the our culture points out this inequality in a Google search “auto-complete”.
The signs that our internet, influenced culture is bringing down the intelligence of this country is obvious if you’ve ever visited one of those Chatbot sites to see the development of artificial intelligence. I believe that these sites analyze responses real people give it from statements it has made. It eventually develops a “personality” reflective of those who “chat” with it. Your conversations with it eventually dwindles down to insults. You can’t expect too much from these conversations, but it is reflective of our culture.
So when someone wants to make a statement about inequality or how unfair it may be or is, in this world for women, using Google’s Auto-Complete is a trifle inaccurate. Especially when it comes to the horrible mistreatment women suffer in other cultures around the world.
Many of these auto-completes are used in comedy/fail blogs because of the ridiculous items that come up. Here is a culture that shuts down any criticisms toward a religion that treats its women like property, and yet can’t stand the traditional views many of us hold because that is what this country is founded on.
Yes, those Google searches may be common, but not because we are looking for reasons to defend unfair actions towards women, but because people ask us or we read about these things and seek answers, perhaps ignorantly, from the internet. I can’t tell you the reasons these searches are common, I can even admit that there are Christians who hold ignorant viewpoints strongly because they want to be right, but the way these are used, is wrong.
Yes, women shouldn’t accept the way things are, or be discriminated against, and they should make their own decisions, and should be seen as equal, as these posters point out: but so should men. So should we all. We live in a world of sin. No attitudes we hold will ever be perfect. Using ridiculous auto-completes to make your point will not take away the idiotic attitudes of us all.
There have always been and always will be people who have good intentions to try to change this world with pithy statements, but only one thing can change people on an individual basis for good. Yet, they will use His name for evil as well. I pray that those who would call upon the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, would share the good news, and He will change us, in His time, and each on an individual level.
I would hope that we could really focus on true inequality in this world, but alas, I read things in His word that tell me this world will get worse, that right will be wrong, that good will be bad.
Lord Jesus, I pray that you would hasten Your return. But that I could do Your work You have for me, while I am still here, joyously. Amen.